Regular detailing of the interior of your car is as important as keeping your oil changed. Think about it…every time you enter your car you are bringing in environmental pollutants such as pollen, dirt, and dust. If you eat on the run, then you are also subjecting your car’s interior to food crumbs and stains, which if left untreated, can actually breakdown the car’s material whether that be leather, vinyl, upholstery, carpet, or plastic. Bad weather conditions outside the vehicle can actually affect what your vehicle looks and smells like on the inside. Consistent wetness that is tracked in from rain and snow can leave the vehicle’s carpet looking and smelling bad. Additionally, smoking in a vehicle requires a deep level of cleaning (that requires its own post). So no matter how often you use your vehicle, it does get dirtier than you may think with every use. The good news is, you can preserve your car’s interior and improve its air quality with regularly scheduled details.

What is Interior Car Detailing?

Interior Car Detailing is not just a quick wiping of the interior and a vacuum job. It is a thorough cleaning of the interior of the vehicle that includes (at a minimum):

  • cleaning of all the interior surfaces, including hard-to-reach-crevices
  • vacuuming of the carpets, seats (plus under and in-between them), hard-to-reach crevices, and the rear deck (space extending toward the back window of a car)
  • shampooing of carpet, floor mats, and upholstery
  • conditioning of leather, vinyl, and plastic
  • cleaning of windows

Do I need to hire a professional to detail my car?

No! Anyone with the desire, a little know-how, and a few supplies can detail their own car. If you are new to car detailing, we have many resources to get you started to preserving or even restoring your vehicle. Car detailing professionals can be a valuable resource if you lack the time, ability, and even the space to detail your own car. Although professional car detailers do come at a price, many offer packages based on your car care needs.

Where is the best place to detail the interior of a car?

The best place to detail the interior of a car is out of the way of environmental elements. Extreme, heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind will all pose uncomfortable (and downright aggravating) conditions to you as you work. When conditions are wet, you also run the risk of damaging the interior of your car and your equipment. A daytime detail, or an area with ample lighting, is also necessary so you are able to see dirt and grime in the crevices of the car’s interior. Areas within a vehicle can be shadowed and actually appear quite dark. A well-lit area inside a garage or carport that is a comfortable temperature (not hot nor cold) will offer the most ideal conditions for detailing the interior of a car.

What supplies do I need to detail the interior of my car?

To properly detail the interior of a car, several basic supplies are needed. Of course, those supplies can vary depending on who you ask and what the condition of the car is that you want to detail. As a former professional car detailer, I recommend the following basic tools that can be used again and again, even if the condition of the car changes.

  • Shop-Vac–A good Shop-Vac is going to have more muscle and useful accessories than your average household vacuum cleaner. A Shop-Vac, or Wet-Dry Vac, will also allow you to suck up liquid from treated stains on carpet and upholstery.
  • Microfiber cloths for cars–A good set of microfiber cloths are a must! These cloths attract dirt and trap particles in the microscopic fibers. Assign a cloth (or more, depending on how dirty the vehicle is) for each area to be cleaned within the vehicle–wiping hard surfaces, cleaning windows, and conditioning.
  • Cleaners–Generally useful and sometimes much needed to remove stains and grime on hard surfaces, glass, upholstery, leather, and carpet. Cleaners for car interior can vary in price and quality. There are also several environmentally-friendly options for those that want to go green or who have allergies to the chemicals found in most cleaning agents.

Cleaning the interior of your car doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few supplies and a little know-how, you can preserve that new-car look or even restore your vehicle to its original shine.